For decades, the horror genre has been a major popular entertainment and has dominated the publishing and film industries. Yet there exists no philosophical examination of the genre - the time for its aesthetic analysis is ripe. Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those "paradoxes of the heart" that make us want to be horrified?
Includes bibliographical references and index
The nature of horror. The definition of horror ; Fantastic biologies and the structures of horrific imagery ; Summary and conclusion -- Metaphysics and horror, or Relating to fictions. Fearing fictions ; Character-identification? -- Plotting horror. Some characteristic horror plots ; Horror and suspense ; The fantastic -- Why horror? The paradox of horror ; Horror and ideology ; Horror today